The Kingdom of God Has Arrived?
A great concern with many people is whether the kingdom of God is near? How can we know? The most reasonable way to discover the answer to this question is to inquire from the scriptures. What does the Bible say about the kingdom of God?
It is quite well known that Jesus announced the coming of his kingdom. In so doing, he stated that it was both at hand and would arrive before those living in his day died? Why is this not well known, publicized and preached?
For example, in Mark 1;14, Jesus urged repentance saying the kingdom had drawn near.
When Was The Kingdom of God Near?
This is a great question to ask. Why? It’s because many believe that we are on the cusp of the arrival of the kingdom. They believe that Jesus will soon come. This is not new. It occurs often during the turn of a century, both in the latter days of the former and in the early days of the present century. Yet, how many times have the false prophets cried wolf, and nothing occurred?
This is a very sad testimony to the Christian faith, although it does not represent true Christianity. The sad part is that many are swept away with these false predictions and wind up losing their faith. This is why Christianity oftentimes gets an undeserved bad rap. It is important therefore to understand the biblical teaching on the kingdom of God. Has the kingdom arrived?
- The kingdom was at hand
- It did not come by observation (natural eyesight)
- It arrived before some then living died
- It was attended the most datable historic event in the first century
Exploring the Above Topics on the Kingdom of God
We’ve already alluded to the fact that John, the Baptizer, Jesus and his apostles taught that the kingdom of God was at hand. (Matt. 3:2) This means in proximity to those who uttered the statements, the kingdom was near. It is incorrect to read these passages from our historical point of view. That is the problem. Yet, so few people seem to grasp the significance of it. In fact, there is not a single passage in scripture where the word “at hand” is used in regard to time that references a historical point of view of people living today.
For example, when Paul said the hour of my departure is at hand, he did not mean he would die on May 21, 2011. That’s an impossibility. Everyone can see that. Everyone understands that. Almost everyone would consider someone a total nut if they even thought about thinking such a thing. Yet, this is precisely the logic and reasoning used regarding the kingdom of God. To understand one is to understand the other. To misunderstand one is to misunderstand the other.
The Kingdom of God Does not Come With Observation
This statement means that the kingdom was not observable by the natural eye. Spiritual truths are perceived in the mind. Hence, Paul speaks of the “eyes of our understanding.” You can’t go into the desert, or the jungle, nor the highways or to the hills and rocks to watch the kingdom descend. Even if it were to happen tomorrow, it would not be a visible event. The kingdom of God does not come with observation.
Here is another related truth. Christ came in the invisible kingdom. That means that if the kingdom was at hand and invisible, so was the coming of the Lord. People are not wise to expect to see what God says they cannot see. Now, I know this raises a question in the back of everyone’s mind. Doesn’t the Bible say Christ would come with clouds and every eye would see it? (Rev. 1:7). Why of course it does. So allow me to ask you.
Is God Confused Concerning the Nature of the Kingdom of God?
Does not God know what he speaks about? Does not his left hand know what his right hand is doing? Is God that unintelligent and forgetful that he can’t remember from one statement to the next? Could he so easily contradict himself by saying the kingdom of God is not visible, then say that every eye would see it?
Most people who ask this question are not familiar with the subject of hermeneutics (the science of interpreting scripture) nor the apocalyptic (figurative or metaphors) used in prophetic imagery. Revelation 1:7 has a background which we have discussed many times before on this site. Do a search and look for the topic to understand what it means. We will discuss it again but not at this time.
Jesus Predicted Kingdom Of God Would Arrive Before Some Then Living Died
See Matthew 16:28 and 24:34. The kingdom of God would arrive before those living in the first century generation died. Is it not reasonable to ask, are any of those who lived in the first century yet walking the earth today? If not, then the kingdom came. It’s that simple. Jesus cannot lie.
The Kingdom of God Arrived With the Destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
The most datable historical event of the first century is the event known as the destruction of Jerusalem. In connection with this event, Jesus said, the kingdom would be at hand. Both however, would arrive before the first century generation passed. See Luke 21:20-22, 31-32. There can be no question that the kingdom of God has come. It is said to see the myriads of people lining up and rearranging their lives for these modern day predictions.
May 21st will come and go as it always has without event, unless of course we have some bad weather. Aside from that, it will be uneventful except that the news will report another sad story on the false predictions of Christ’s coming and the alleged non arrival of the kingdom of God.